Recreation Community Gathers Ideas For Boosting Outdoor Recreation

This news release is available as a PDF here

Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2016) – America’s recreation community took an important step toward development of a new Blueprint for Getting More Americans Active Outdoors at a brainstorming session in Washington, D.C. March 8. A dozen strategies were offered by top recreation and conservation leaders. Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, opened the brainstorming and discussion process by recalling past advances for recreation from thinking big.

The two recreation industry executives led the American Recreation Coalition Board of Directors as it heard from organizations ranging from The Corps Network to the Federal Recreation Council, from Active Network to the National Wildlife Federation as well as the Archery Trade Association. They championed the development of an “idea bank” to be shared with national leaders and a process by recreation interests to select a handful of especially important efforts which would benefit all recreation interests.

Dammrich recalled the results of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission and the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors and key programs those efforts stimulated, from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the National Trail System Act, from scenic byways to federal fee policy which supports local retention of entrance, camping and other fees. He also noted the influence wielded by some two dozen recreation executives in 1993 when they crafted an action agenda for the incoming Clinton-Gore Administration. Almost every item in that agenda was enacted, paving the way for increased enjoyment of America’s great outdoors by domestic and international visitors.

RVIA’s Hugelmeyer explained that a parallel development of ideas is underway by a dozen recreation trade association executives. He outlined plans to combine the efforts and called for recreation community leaders to then discuss and refine the best of the ideas, to work to gain broad endorsement and then unify advocacy efforts at important forums ranging from the summer meeting of the Western Governors’ Association to political party platform hearings and events which will occur during the 2016 campaign process. Ultimately, the ideas will be further refined and presented to the new Administration and next Congress.

Among the presentations at the meeting were:

  • 21st Century Conservation Service Corps – The Corps Network
  • Strengthening America’s Trail System to Get Americans Outdoors – American Hiking Society
  • Documenting Outdoor Recreation’s Economic Impact – Federal Recreation Council
  • Environmental Education: Gateway to Recreation Participation by Kids – National Wildlife Federation
  • Taking Archery Into Communities, and Communities Into Archery – Archery Trade Association
  • Reclaiming Our Federal Lakes – National Marine Manufacturers Association
  • Protecting and Expanding Access to America’s Public Lands and Waters: Penny for the Outdoors – National Park Hospitality Association
  • Addressing the Challenges of – Active Network
  • Information on these presentations and other ideas can be found here. Suggestions for additional initiatives are welcomed and should be sent to: